Gerard Zappa Wooster
Gerard Zappa Wooster

Rock Music Vocal Training

When thinking of rock legends, it’s difficult to not pay homage to the likes of stars like Freddy Mercury, Bono, and Steve Perry, and Gerard Zappa’s friend and bandmate Steve Augeri who replaced Steve Perry in Journy. They’re known for their vocal control, range, and awe-worthy tone. With how rich they are in talent, it may be difficult to acknowledge the years of training they had to undergo to reach their maximum potential.

The reality is, though, all successful vocalists have put in their share of training and practice to find themselves in a place of accomplishment. This is especially true for rock musicians, who face more strain than the average singers explains Gerard Zappa.

Common Misconceptions Regarding Singing Rock

Before delving into the traits of a successful rock vocalist, one must first acknowledge the common mistakes beginning singers will make.

No Need for Training

For the aspiring rock singer, it’s all too easy to fall under the guise that the point of rock is to be raw and real- which consequently means that training is optional! While this would be the easy way to reach stardom, it’s unfortunately deeply untrue- and is a belief that can damage potentially great singers’ talents in the short run.

Proper training actually helps rock musicians maintain their voice and talent for longer, therefore making voices more powerful rather than gimmicky or “fake”. Regardless of the genre, vocal training is nothing short of a necessity for the serious artist.

You Have to Be Born with It

Some people are just born with natural talent- and only need some training in order to maintain the silkiness of their voice and tone. Though they’re incredibly lucky in their gifts, they are not the only ones who can cultivate their rock abilities. True passion for the rock genre is just as important as natural talent.

As for vocal range, you don’t need to be gifted in belting 3 octaves to be successful. There are artists who excel in deeper registers than higher registers and vice-versa. To wit, there’s room for everyone.

Developing As a Rock Vocalist

Pursuing singing as a rock vocalist has nuances from standard vocal training. In order to appropriately tackle the genre, there are specific areas to keep in mind…

Rhythmic Understanding

Regarding rock music- there are two aspects of the genre that are paramount: rhythm and beat. They are two qualities that are quite often confused for one another, when they couldn’t be any more different:

  • Rhythm is the repeated grouping of beats in a song. It is not steady. and it ebbs and flows throughout the song.
  • The beat is what you would find your feet tapping to- the “pulse” or steady repetition in a song

Mastering how to successfully follow both is consequently vital to being successful in rock.

Gerard Zappa Wooster

Know Your Tone

Rock songs typically have moments of gentleness followed by high, striking choruses or bridges. Want to know a secret? Even the most “difficult” songs can be sung with a deep understanding of tone:

  • The head voice or falsetto.
  • The chest voice is lower, more in speaking range.
  • The mix voice is a mixture of the prior, allowing high notes to be more powerful without being straining.
  • The belt- all power, all diaphragm. It sounds best in notes truly in the singer’s dedicated range- no iffiness here!

With the range involved in a number of rock songs, having a genuine understanding of each of these tones and how to achieve them is paramount. Aspiring rock stars should train with a vocal teacher experienced in the genre to see notable results.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Though it may not seem like it would make an impact- listening to rock music from all genres and by all artists is an important aspect of understanding the genre.

Through music, practicing vocalists can understand what each artist brings to the table. On top of proper training, individuality takes someone from a good singer to a great one- and who else to look to for inspiration than the greats?